31 May 2010

Not Forgotten

"Not Forgotten" is an annual event that takes place every Memorial Day Weekend in Manteca, California. The purpose of the event is to honor all who have served our country in the military, to remember our fallen heroes and their families, to raise awareness in our community and remind our citizens that freedom is not free.

The display above is called the "Welcome Home Traveling Tribute." This year a ninth panel was added. The tribute is to honor those who have given their lives so far in the Global War on Terrorism.

The newest panel (the 9th) to the tribute

5800 crosses one for each of the men and women who have died in the Global War on Terror while serving America

This event is the largest Memorial Day weekend commemoration on the West Coast. The organizer for this spectacular event is Pastor Mike Dillman. You may have heard of Pastor Dillman. It is his goal to make Manteca the "Most Patriotic City in America" and if anyone can make this happens it is certainly him. It is estimated that over 10,000 people attended the three day event.

El Toyon Chapter NSDAR decided to join in the festivities and share with the community our projects that benefit our servicemen and women as well as the veterans in our community. For example, we send "goody boxes" to soldiers who are hospitalized at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany. The boxes are full of comfort items like candy, magazines, toiletries, phone cards, etc. There is a group of ladies in our chapter that make lap quilts for veterans at the Palo Alto VA Hospital. We participate in the "Wreaths Across America" program - the goal is to have a Christmas wreath decorating every grave in every National Cemetery in the United States.
El Toyon Chapter NSDAR is one of the oldest in California, organized in 1899 here in Stockton, California. It was a great community outreach opportunity for us to educate the public about the DAR and what it stands for - "For God, Home and Country."

Sheri Fenley, Marilyn Rauzi & Shelline Klingenfuss members of El Toyon Chapter NSDAR at the "Not Forgotten" Memorial Day Celebration 2010

Jamboree To-Do and Must-Do Lists

I am so looking forward to Southern California Genealogical Society's 41st Annual Jamboree which will be held June 11th thru June 13th in Burbank.

I went last year and had the time of my life! Great speakers, wonderful programs and schmoozing with fellow geneabloggers is just the icing on the cake!

I have started my lists for the weekend already. My To-Do list, my Must-Do list, etc., etc. and so forth. On the Must-Do list is : Get a replacement wall chart from Janet the Chart Chick. That would be my good friend Janet Hovorka. She and her husband Kim are the owners of Generation Maps and just one of the many vendors who will be at Jamboree this year. Below is the chart she made for me last year from the GEDCOM file I brought with me. As you can see, it is all tore up and well used. Over the past year I have used this as my working chart. Oh yes, I got crazy with my colored pencils ( 4 different colors for my four major family lines) and note writing. Janet left me plenty of room on the right hand side of the chart.

I am a very visual person. Give me good visual aids and I can rule the world. Um, well maybe not rule the world, but I could come very close.

UPDATE: My BFF told me that I may not rule the world. However, I am without a doubt, the Czarina of Stockton.

27 May 2010

Where Did All The People Go?

That is a question a local genealogist and historian has been trying to answer.

Here in San Joaquin County, we are so very lucky to have Adine Gnekow. Adine is the type of person every genealogy or historical society dreams of having as a member. Her continuing efforts for the preservation of genealogical records and local history are nothing short of amazing and awe inspiring.

Adine's latest project involves a cemetery that no longer exists. The cemetery was closed to any new burials in the 1930's. Between the years of 1930 and 1960, the remains of those buried there were removed to other local cemeteries. Adine's project involves matching the known burials in the old cemetery to their new locations. By 1960, there were only 4 headstones left on the property:

1) Stone: SARAH A. BALLARD, wife of W. A. Ballard, born Apr. 3, 1823, died Jan. 22, 1875, mother of A. D., J. W., and J. H. Chance. JAMES H. CHANCE died Sept. 27, 1871, aged 29 yrs, 7 mos, 8 days. ALONZO D. CHANCE died Mar. 10, 1872, aged 19 yrs, 28 d. JOHN W. CHANCE died Feb. 11, 1868, aged 19 yrs. 11 mos, 25 days.

2) Stone: ELIZABETH, wife of Rueben L. WARDROBE, died Mar. 11, 187? aged 26 yrs, 11 mos, 27 d.

3) Stone: REV. A. GUERNSEY died May 21, 1891, aged 84 yrs, 7 mos, 6 days.

4) Stone: CHARLES G., son of R. L. & E. WARDROBE, died Apr. 13, 1866, aged 3 yrs, 1 mo, 16 days.

It was known by many names over the years: The First German Baptist Cemetery, The Calaveras Baptist Cemetery, Faith Baptist Cemetery and Lodi Baptist Cemetery. It was located west of Highway 99 ( formerly Cherokee Lane) between Scottsdale Road and Armstrong Road.

Adine has accounted for 43 of the burials using records of surveys done on the cemetery in the 1930's. The surnames of the other confirmed burials:


If anyone ( or if you know of anyone) has a photo of this cemetery, a photo of a marker from the cemetery or have any information about people who were buried in this cemetery please contact me - Sheri Fenley - as soon as possible.
SHERI FENLEY - sherifenley@gmail.com

08 May 2010

SNGF - Who's Your Mama?

I haven't played along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Randy Seaver's place GeneaMusings in like ages. But this is one I can easily accomplish.

If you want to party with the SNGF gang this week, then here is your task:

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.


a) Me

b) My Mother

c) My grandmother MARYELLEN HARRIS [1916 Bronson, Bourbon County, Kansas - 1995 Sam Jose, Santa Clara County, California] married Darrell K. Skillman

d) My great grandmother HAZEL BERRY [1896 Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa - 1965 Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas] married Hillary T. Harris

e) My 2nd great grandmother LAURA CORDELIA ROBINSON [1862 Pittsburgh, Alleghney County, Pennsylvania - 1951 Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas] married William Campbell Berry

f) My 3rd great grandmother MARGARET DILKS [1839 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1935 Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa] married David Robinson

g) My 4th great grandmother MARGARET BOWMAN [1807 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] married Arthur Dilks

Maternal Lineage

Top Row: Me, My Mother, Maryellen Harris
Bottom Row: Hazel Berry, Laura Robinson, Margaret Dilks

I have had my mtDNA tested and I am in haplogroup R, subgroup B4c. Sounds impressive, but I haven't a clue as to what that means.


a) Me

b) My father Stanley Edmund Beffort [1935 Salina, Saline County, Kansas - 1988 West Fork, Washington County, Arkansas]

c) My grandmother MYRTLE MAE BORGSTADTER [ 1918 Lincoln County, Kansas - 2009 Salina, Saline County, Kansas] married Edmund Robert Beffort

d) My great grandmother EMOGENE BESSON [ 1888 Tescott, Ottawa County, Kansas - 1957 Bennington, Ottawa County, Kansas] married Henry Borgstadter

e) My 2nd great grandmother SARAH JANE SOLOMON [1863 Moultrie County, Illinois] married Louis Ernst Besson

f) My 3rd great grandmother ANGELINE FULTON [1837 Illinois - 1887 Tescott, Ottawa County, Kansas] married James Arthur Solomon

g) My 4th greatgrandmother AMY HAYDEN [1810 Fleming County, Kentucky - 1847 Moultrie County, Illinois] married John Bennington Fulton

h) My 5th greatgrandmother SARAH MC CLELLAN [1774 Pennsylvania - 1857 Fleming County, Kentucky] married Barnabus Hayden

Paternal Maternal Lineage
Top row: Me, Stanley Beffort, Myrtle M. Borgstadter
Botton row: Emogene Besson, Sarah Solomon, Angeline Fulton

04 May 2010

What An Adventure! Part 2

So I hope you didn't think I was finished with my story. There's more!

Thursday was a full day again. In the morning I ran into Claire Bettag. I just adore Claire. You may remember her better as the "Motorcycle Mama" from my adventure at IGHR at Samford University. Randy Seaver - GeneaMusings - and I toured the Gentech area of the exhibit hall. Lots of exciting technology happening.

I also ran into Becky Jamison who writes Grace and Glory. What a delightful lady! And Janet Horvorka - The Chart Chick - You have got to see her new toy called ChArtist, you'll never look at charts the same way again. Janet also wrote the most helpful series of getting to know Salt Lake City before the conference.

I volunteered an hour at the APG booth. My partner was Bob McLaren who is a most interesting man. I'll have you know that I behaved myself. Not once did I ask him what he was wearing under his kilt!

Stopped by the Family Tree Magazine booth and talked with Diane Haddad - Genealogy Insider - and Allison Stacy. OMG they are so young but so talented!

Finally caught up with Denise Levenick - The Family Curator and aka Penelope Dreadful from Shades, the Magazine - I met Denise last summer at Jamboree. She is a most excellent person to hang out with. Speaking of Shades, the April edition has been published and it is a doozy! 116 pages devoted to the Civil War. My column this month is "The Year Was 1865"

Back row L to R: Megan Smolenyak, Randy Seaver, Maureen Taylor, Steve Danko, Donna Pointkouski
Front row L to R: Lou Szucs, Kathryn Doyle, Diane Haddad, Me, Elizabeth Hansford

The photo above I swiped from Randy Seaver. I was so busy schmoozing I only took 4 photos the entire time I was gone! The group of mahvalous people above were just a few of the hundreds who attended the private screening of the last "Who Do You Think You Are" series sponsored by Ancestry.com.

In the group above were a couple of people I had never met before. Megan Smolenyak, a genea-star and the Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com, is really a very nice person. Lou Szucs known for her book "The Source" (just one of many books and publications) is one of the most respected authorities in the genealogical world and Maureen Taylor aka The Photo Detective, who I owe a Geneablogger ribbon. Maureen if you are reading this I found one while unpacking and I mailed it to you today!

Elizabeth Hansford is the Genealogy Geek and I am so glad I met her. With her sharp wit and humor, she fit right in!

I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille

There was another event going on at the Salt Palace during NGS. I couldn't resist the photo op!

More of the lectures I went to: "From Research To Report: How To Write A Proof Summary" by Kay Haviland Frelich, "The Case Of The Disappearing Dude" by Debra Miezala, The BCG Certification Seminar, "Anatomy of a Genealogy Research Report" by J. H. Fonkert, "The Time of Cholera: A Case Study About Historical Context" by Alison Hare

Me, Randy Seaver, Denise Levenick and Donna Pointkouski

One of the photos above and below is mine and the other I pilfered from Randy Seaver. I couldn't decide which I like better so I am gifting you with both of them. Thanks Randy! The smiles on our faces are there because we just finished a great dinner at the Olive Garden.

Me, Randy Seaver, Denise Levenick and Donna Pointkouski

I saw some old friends like Angela McGhie who I know through the ProGen Group and finally met in person at Samford last summer. Angela, Randy Seaver and I are alumni from the 1st ProGen group. It is one of the most wonderful educational opportunities out there today and I encourage all genealogists to participate. Angela is the administrator for the organization and they have their own website.

Lisa Alzo is another dear friend. Lisa's blog -
The Accidental Genealogist sponsored a fantastic writing challenge last March called "Fearless Women." Lisa is an expert in Eastern European research, especially Slovakian research, and the author of several books the most recent being "Cleveland Czechs" and write regular columns for "Family Chronicle" and "Family Tree" magazines.

From L to R: Randy Seaver, Janet Horvorka, Lisa Alzo, Amy Urman, Madaleine Laird, Angela McGhie and Me

Some of the new bloggers I met were Michelle Goodrum - Turning of Generations; A. C. Ivory - Find My Ancestor; Amy Urman - The Genealogy Search. If you haven't already read what they have to say, then get on over and visit with them.

I have to tell you, my week at the conference and in Salt Lake City was time and money well spent.

ps. At one point during the conference, I met a gentleman who I exchanged business cards with. Or so I thought I had. I accidently handed him my hotel card key instead of my business card. Sir, if you are reading this - I forgot to tell you that particular kind of service will cost you extra.

03 May 2010

What An Adventure!

Our Name Badges and Ribbons

So I'm thinking that you all have been waiting for me to get back from the NGS conference that was held in Salt Lake City last week. I'll bet you're thinking that I've got lots of stories and information to share with you about my trip. Man oh man do I ever!

I have to tell you, even after all my careful planning the first day didn't start off as well as expected. I over-slept and ended up boarding the plane 5 minutes before take-off. In my rush I left my laptop and flash drives at home.

The day got even more awesome when I phoned the hotel for the shuttle. The driver did not see me the first time he came to pick up guests of the hotel. The second time I did everything in my power to make sure that did not happen again. When I saw the van approaching I stood in the middle of the street and flapped my arms up and down. Not one of my better ideas. I must have scared him because when he passed me and just kept going I threw my tote bag at the van. What? I was in the middle of a hormonal meltdown.

Not wanting to accept defeat, I came up with yet another brilliant plan. I went into the restroom and changed my clothes, put my hair up and donned sunglasses. I felt like a super-hero in reverse - I changed INTO a mild mannered normal person. Worked like a charm. He didn't recognize me and I got to the hotel in one piece.

The rest of the day was great. My roommate Donna Pointkouski -
What's Past Is Prologue - and Steve Danko - Steve's Genealogy Blog - took me on a hike around downtown Salt Lake City. This is the point where I became aware of how out of shape I am. One block and I am huffing and puffing, my calves are burning worse than the hot flashes I seem to be having every 10 minutes. We had a great Italian dinner, great conversation (we may have solved some of the world's problems) and then it was back to the hotel for the night.

Tuesday was spent in the Family History Library - need I say more?

In the evening I attended the APG Roundtable Discussion. The topic was "How to Increase Earnings by Opening More Options to Attract Potential Clients." The panelists were Natalie Cottrill of
ProGenealogists, Karen Clifford course instructor for Family History Studies at Monterey Peninsula College and publisher of Genealogy Research Associates, and Alvie Davidson private investigator of Florida Detective.

A quick get-together for a group photo of
ProGen participants and alumni topped the evening off.

Wednesday was a day full of presentations by top notch speakers. I attended the Tom Jones one on "Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was" and "Smith & Jones: How To Cope with Families of Common Name" by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Kathryn Doyle, Daniel Horowitz and Me

I spent the rest of the day cruising the exhibit hall with Kathryn Doyle ( aka Sister Mary Kitty) in search of chocolate and familiar faces and more chocolate. Have I mentioned yet that it was snowing most of the time I was in Salt Lake City? That's right - it is the end of APRIL and it is snowing! Kathryn took the photo below of snow in my hair. It sure doesn't take much to amuse us! For those who may not know, Kathryn is the author of the California Genealogical Society blog, the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar and the creator of the Carnival of Genealogy Societies .

People I spent time with today: Daniel Horowitz from My Heritage , Dean Richardson from Genlighten , Ron Aarons the author of the new book "The Jews of Sing Sing" , Gena Ortega - Gena's Genealogy Blog, Madaleine Laird - kinfolit blog , Jean Hibben - Circle Mending , Dear Myrtle

Real snowflakes in my hair!